Sunday, June 30, 2013


As usual, we took our breakfast and went to the town proper for the days' tour. This time we were led to a different boat which was directly managed by Northern Hope Tours.

Our first stop, HIDDEN BEACH.

entrance to the hidden beach

we were totally surprised with this. Di mo kasi akalain na may opening pala yun sa limestones. akala mo solid rock lang siya. Beach itself was shallow. Di ka kakabahan mag-swim. we spent 2 hours here since dito na rin kami nag-lunch. Medyo marami lang mosquito so bring insect repellant na lotion. Kundi, papapakin ka ng lamok.

lunch (di pa kasama diyan ang liempo and fish). excited mag-pic eh.
2nd stop, Matinloc Shrine

The view from the top was breathtaking but the shrine itself was not maintained well, napabayaan na. May small beach siya sa left side ng island. There was also a museum sa baba ng shrine.

3rd stop, Small Lagoon

4th, Big Lagoon

for picture taking purposes lang ang spot na ito, malalim na raw kasi masyado kaya di na kami pinayagan ng guide.

Other stops sa tour:

  • Shimizu 
  • 7 commando
  • Secret Beach (di na namin napuntahan dahil malakas ang alon.)
  • Talisayen Beach
We arrived at the town proper around 5PM na. Had our dinner at just a local carinderia since nagtitipid na kami. Bring lots of cash nga pala since walang atm sa El Nido. When we got home, prepared our things since we'll be leaving for Puerto Princesa at 10AM.


We woke up the next day (June 12) for an early breakfast. Breakfast was included in our room rate in Four Seasons Resort. There are choices of American Breakfast(Toast, Egg, Fruits, etc) or Filipino Breakfast (Bacon-silog, Tapsilog, Hotsilog, etc.). I chose Hotsilog as I'm a rice eater. I'd need the energy for the days' activity.
breakfast (Hotsilog)
We took a trike to the town proper, (P100 / chartered trike) and looked for the booth of Northern Hope Tours. We paid for the tour and sinamahan kami ni ate sa beachfront. By the way, there is a P200 fee for every tourist that will go on the Island Hopping tours. 10 days ang effectivity nito and you'd need to bring this every time you go Island Hopping in case i-check siya. There we rode the boat "El Nido Cruiser. There were only 9 of us sa boat (5 sa group namin and another 4 sa kabilang group). The boat is big enough and mukha naman maayos. The guide and the boatmen are ok, knowledgeable about the islands and maingat. The weather was unpredictable though, may times na maulan and malakas ang waves, may times naman na kalma lang ang dagat.

These are the islands that we visited.
  • Pinagbuyutan Island
  • Cathedral Cave
  • Cudognon Cave (this is where we took our lunch)
  • Snake Island
  • Bukal Island
  • Nat Nat Beach
  • Cadlao Lagoon
I think there are others pa pero di ko na maalala ang names.

cathedral cave

Nido Cruiser, our boat for the day =)

Pinagbuyutan Island

Lunch time (may tuna pero di ko napicture-an, water is included) ^__^

cudognon cave

cudognon cave

snake island (see the sandbar?)

snake island

The tour lasted until 4PM. More on caves/coves and island beaches ang tour b and d. If you want to snorkle, better get tour a and c na lang. 

We went back to the resort to shower and change clothes before going back to the town proper for dinner. Since puro grilled food ang usual food sa El Nido, we opted for something different naman. Luckily, meron pizza and pasta place sa El Nido named "ALTROVE". You'd need to leave your slippers at the steps since barefoot dapat sa resto proper. 

They serve delicious brick oven pizza and different toppings are available. Thin-crusts ang pizzas nila so kayang kaya kahit 1 pizza each ang order niyo. In fact, sa mga foreigners na nakita namin dun, tig - isa talaga sila. Pero since nagtitipid kami, sharing ang gawa namin. Their pastas are good too, especially the white sauce and peso sauce. Our bill came up to around P1,500. Not bad na rin considering we ordered a lot (2 pizza, 3 pasta, 5 drinks). After dinner, we walked around town. Maaga pala magclose mga tindahan sa townproper. The only ones still open at the time (9PM) were the bars at the beachfront. So different from boracay na habang pagabi eh lalong nabubuhay ang isla. 

Since we didn't have anything to do, we went back to the hotel and called it a day. Tour A+C naman the next day.

Northern Hope Tours
c/o Ate Neriza

Puerto Princesa To El Nido (longest van ride ever!)

Our flight time via Cebu Pacific was at 8:15AM at NAIA3, after approximately 1 Hr we arrived in Puerto Princesa.

touchdown Puerto Princesa!

We were to be fetched by a van of DAYTRIPPERS which was contacted by our friend, CM. Their vans are far newer and bigger than the usual Lexus Vans that plies the PP-El Nido route. Regular vans costs P500/head while Daytrippers charge P800/head. This is inclusive of light snacks/water during the roadtrip. Their vans are roomy and well maintained.

CM called our contact to tell them that we were waiting at the airport passenger terminal but were informed that our co-passengers for the trip (a couple) had a delayed flight. We were then asked if we're amenable to a later trip to El Nido in exchange for a free 1 spot tour in the city. Since 3 of us haven't been to Bakers Hill yet, we agreed. Already hungry at the time (only had a light breakfast at Jollibee in NAIA 3), we told them to just go to BALAI INATO at 11AM as we'll have an early lunch there. We rode a trike to the resto for P50/chartered trike (3pax max) which was just 15 mins away.

at balai inato, waiting for our food

Balai Inato is a guesthouse their resto is called HAIM CHICKEN INATO. The food is affordable and cooked well. Cooking time is quite long though, we waited for almost half hour before our food was served. Their specialty is their chicken inasal (P90+). Place is clean and you could enjoy a moment of privacy as their tables are separated by walkway. 

At 11AM, the van from daytripper arrived and we gladly went in. From Balai Inato, it was 20-25mnins before we reached Bakers Hill. There were some improvements going on. As it was still quite early, very few tourists were onsite so we had a nice feel of the place. There was a playground at the back of the site where children freely roam around. A small Japanese-esque garden, a tower of sorts with a view of the surroundings. You could spend an hour at the place and just chill with your friends. Bakers Hill also has a resto and a souvenir shop. I would've wanted to buy pasalubongs but we'll only leave for Manila 5 days later. Baka masira lang yun food, sayang naman.

From Bakers Hill (12:30PM), we went back to the airport to wait for our co-passengers. The thing is, they were again delayed by 1 hour! By this time, we were already tired and impatient. We had nothing to do but to listen to music as other city tour spots are quite far. So on we wait.

By 1:30pm, our co-passengers arrived and we commenced our trip to El Nido. Arrived at our El Nido hotel (Four Seasons Resort in Corong Corong) at 7:30PM. What was supposed to be a 5hr van ride became longer due to the delays that we encountered. Sayang yung oras! Nakapag ikot pa sana kami sa town proper.

We were all so tired by this time that we decided to eat dinner at the hotel instead of at the town. After dinner, we freshened up and rested early for our early sched the next day (Combi Tour B+D c/o Northern Hope Tours). 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

EL NIDO for P450 RT!!!

Visiting El Nido has always been part of my "to do list" but budget was a big consideration. Regular Airfare alone costs 2T-4T/per person roundtrip excluding the travel between Puerto Princesa to El Nido and back. However, after having our trip, I learned that you wouldn't need to shell out P20T ++ per person just to see what El Nido Palawan has to offer. You just need to be patient (seat sales everyone!), be an expert in haggling and not be choosy in accomodations.

Last year, due to Cebu Pacifics' Piso Fare, we were able to get RT airfare tickets for only P450 per pax! Thats an extra 2T-3T savings that can be spent on other activities at the islands. Booked 3 tickets for june 11-15, 2013 and started saving for it a year in advance. 

Fast forward to march of this year and no concrete plans yet were made. No accomodation, no travel itinerary, no island hopping sched. We were starting to feel the pressure since we had a lot of unnecessary expenses a few weeks prior. Nagkasunod sunod rin ang lakad and nagalaw ang budget para sa bakasyon. Not to mention that we have another trip the following week (Boracay --- june 22-24) with the rest of our friends. 

Buti na lang, 2 other people joined in for the El Nido trip and shared sa gastos. They were the ones who searched and prepared the itinerary along with the resort accom and island hopping tours. 

See the next post for our itinerary ^^

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar, Bagac Bataan

Every year, the company where I work holds an anniversary treat for its employees and this year it was held at Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar, Bataan. Travel time from Monumento to Bataan is around 4-5 hours drive depending on traffic. It was a bit hard to locate if using public transport (looban kasi), thankfully the company hired chartered buses to transport us round trip.

Upon arriving, the first thing you'll notice is how huge the place is. You'll pass by the beach area going to the reception. The beach is clean and very calm. Kahit malayo ka na, mababaw pa rin ang dagat. The sand is very hot though, sobrang init. Para akong naglalakad sa baga. Better wear aqua shoes here dahil di kinaya ng tsinelas ko, pinapasok pa rin kasi ng sand.

The mini lake in between the beach and the main square is very picturesque. The ancestral houses are very nice. na-preserve nila ng maayos.

pool (4 feet deep)

They also have a pool which is 4feet deep. Welcome distraction since the history/culture of the houses would be quite boring for kids. May shower room naman though 7 stalls lang.

leave slippers when entering the ancestral houses

plantsa daw to dati
iba ibang logo ng coke through the years lol

along this side are the souvenir shops and the rooms (for overnight)
P50 na coke. mahal ang pagkain kaya bring food/drinks

Enjoy naman ang short stay namin dito although I think it'd be better if overnight stay. Mahaba kasi ang biyahe and masyado mainit pag day tour. Still lots of construction being done sa Las Casas so marami pa naman babalikan dito. Also, sana medyo babaan nila ang rates since the normal rates are quite expensive for the ordinary citizens. Sometimes they offer voucher deals sa Deal Grocer at a lower price so thats another option sa mga nagtitipid.

Til' next time!

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